I had promised that I would sit in the lobby and read a book on my Kindle. However, I could not resist taking a peek in the room where the convention was being held. It wasn't a big ballroom or anything - just a conference room. There were about 20 tables with long white comic boxes on top (the same kind of boxes that are stacked in my basement). People were rapidly flipping through the comics. I noticed that the geeks all had different tracking systems. My husband uses a spreadsheet and prints a hard copy periodically. Others had similar documents with them. Some used their phones for tracking.
Here's what I know about comics:
- They are boring. (Sorry, that was just an editorial comment).
- When storing a comic, you are supposed to put it in a baggie and put a thin piece of cardboard in there, too. One refers to a comic in this state as being "bagged and boarded."
- They are rated on a quality scale: Mint, Near Mint, and so forth.
- There are way too many of them in my home.
Anyway, back to the comic convention . . . I took a photo and then went out to the lobby as instructed. There was a lady sitting there, reading a book. I sat down to read, too. She laughed so I looked over at her. "I just couldn't take any more comics," she said.
I nodded, thinking, "Oh, she's in the same boat I am."
But then she said this: "Normally I dress up for these but I wasn't sure what to wear to this one."
What. The. Fuck. She told me two things in that one sentence:
- She's one of them.
- She has so many costumes that she wasn't sure which one would work best for this particular convention.
When we got in the car, he tried to tell me how much money he had saved, how much some of these comics would have cost if he had paid the price listed on the cover. Blah blah blah. It's kind of like me saying I got a pair of shoes on sale at Kohl's and that I managed to use Kohl's cash and a coupon. Sure, I saved money, but I did actually spend some. It's not like Kohl's paid me to show up and take a pair of their shoes.
We got to the airport in time. I obtained a gate pass so that I could meet our daughter's flight. I made P sit with my purse so that I didn't have to worry about getting a bottle of hand lotion through security. I did kind of laugh to myself when I was "chosen" for the full-body scan. As I stood in the machine with my arms in the air (like I just don't care), I thought to myself, "Joke's on you, people! I'm not flying anywhere!" I then sat at the terminal and waited for the flight. After it finally landed, it seemed like an eternity passed while I watched the airport people connect the jetway to the plane. Finally, a flight attendant brought my kid through the door.
"Hey, baby!" I yelled and then squeezed the bejeebers out of my kid, who looked even more tan than I remembered. We then hurried back to the main part of the terminal so that she could be reunited with her dad.
After that, we grabbed some lunch at Qdoba and then drove to Six Flags, where we planned to spend the rest of the day. It was hot and we had to park in Nairobi, but we were determined to have some family fun. And it was a fun day! The lines were long but it was a Saturday so we expected that. We rode several roller coasters and a couple of water rides. The kid insisted on buying a cape. My grandmother had given her $20 so she had some cash to spend.
Speaking of money . . . needless to say, everything is very expensive at an amusement park. When we stopped for dinner at a Johnny Rockets, the prices really came as no surprise. The kid asked for a vanilla milkshake. We had just been reunited with her so I think she felt like she could take advantage of us - at least until we got our parenting legs back under us. I think the milkshake was something like $6.74. That is not an exaggeration. We also noticed that they charged 10% sales tax at the park. Anyway, we got some fries and the milkshake and sat down. Not two seconds later, the kid accidentally smacked the milkshake and it fell over. Her dad was not too happy, and chided her to be more careful. Our daughter scowled and exclaimed (very dramatically), "I'M BACK FOR ONE DAY AND THIS IS HOW YOU TREAT ME?!"
She's back alright.
On Saturday evening, we stayed at a hotel because we didn't want to drive all the way back home. We knew we would be tired. I got a room on Priceline and guess which one it was? The very same one where we had the pre-Disney head lice situation. That Qdoba where we had lunch? It was in that parking lot that we combed out the lice, three years before. It was just surreal. We could still remember which parking space we had used. Great, now I'm itching again.
Now that we're back home, I've begun the process of reprogramming the kid. She hasn't heard the word "no" a whole lot while hanging out with her grandparents. In fact, last night she actually thought I'd let her eat sour cream and onion Pringles for dinner. Good try, kid. Good try.